It appears the Detroit Lions have a new linebackers coach.
As first reported by Tennessee beat writer John Glennon, the Titans are parting ways with inside linebacker coach Tyrone McKenzie. Furthermore, according to Brent Dougherty of 104.5 The Zone, McKenzie will be joining the Lions coaching staff at their vacant linebackers coach position.
If the first thing you’re wondering is: Does this guy have a connection to Matt Patricia or the New England Patriots, the answer is yes. McKenzie was a linebacker for the Patriots from 2009 to 2010—years when Patricia was the team’s linebacker coach.
Since his playing career, McKenzie was an assistant special teams coach with the Rams under Sean McVay before he moved to inside linebackers coach for Mike Vrabel and the Titans two years ago.
Here’s what our friends at Music City Miracles had to say about McKenzie and his two years with the Titans.
From an outsider’s point of view, it seemed like he had done an excellent job with the team’s inside linebackers since leaving the Rams to join Vrabel’s staff in 2018. Jayon Brown’s level of play continued its upward trajectory and young linebackers Rashaan Evans and David Long were both able to make early impacts. I liked McKenzie when he was hired based on early interviews and thought he would one day make a good defensive coordinator candidate. That might still be true, but we know it won’t be here in 2020 now.
McKenzie will be tasked with improving an extremely young linebacking corps in need of improvement. 2019 second-round pick Jahlani Tavai will be looking to make a big Year 2 jump, while Jarrad Davis is entering the final year in his rookie deal hoping to finally turn the corner.
At this point, the Lions haven’t confirmed the news nor has any major media publication. It’s probably best to treat this news as a rumor, although it makes enough sense for this to be more than believable.